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AE is a 32 bit application. 32 bit applications can address no more than 4GB of RAM (minus the requirements of the OS you use).
However, AE can use multi-processing to take advantage of multiple processor cores and more RAM. Once you activate Multi-Processing in AE preferences, AE will spawn multiple instances of itself to simultaneously render frames during preview and render. Each instance can use it's own processor core and its own RAM.
On a machine like yours, AE can run 8 AE processes using up to 2GB of RAM each.
Exactly as Andrew said. Luckily you have the right system for it, so make good use of MP. if you need to further accelerate your workflow, try NucleoPro, e.g. to pre-render sub-comps in the background or fill the disk cache by using the Spec Preview featurte, so rendered frames are availabel already before you even begin a RAM preview...
have built 32gb afx cs3 machines running xp64 and they crank :-)
afx will use up to 4gb ram PER CORE, thats why i specc'ed 32gb with an dual intel quad - afx cs2 doesnt multiprocess very well, so no need to go there
if you are running xp32 you could try superspeed's ramdisk pro software ... apparently it can use ram unseen by the os, but havent per tried it with xp32 and > 4gb ram, but a trial version is available ... if it is possible to use the unseen ram, then use the excess ram as a ramdisk for page file and afx disk cache
xp64 is the way to go though
I have a 2 x 2.8GB Quad Core 10GB RAM and I have the same problem but my AFX is recognizing just 3GB of Ram, how do I make it recognized 4GB ram? The rendering is so slow that it's driving me crazy!
Not on Mac. Macs will not allow you to exploit the 32bit ceiling of 4GB due to the operating system itself limiting memory address space.
On Mac OS X, each AE process can use 3.0 GB of RAM. By turning on "Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously" in the Preferences (in CS3 or CS4) AE can start hidden copies of itself to use more processors to render more than one frame at a time.
Each such hidden process can use 3 GB, so with 10 GB of RAM I'd recommend you use only 3 processors. In CS4 you can tell AE only to use 3 processors, in CS3 you have to edit a text file, as outlined here:
When all 8 cores try to render a complex or memory intensive composition with Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously, the application can become memory starved if each process has insufficient memory. If you have less than 2 GB of available RAM per CPU core, your hard drive will be used as temporary RAM which is at least 100 times slower than real RAM.
To remedy this, there is a text preference in the preference file to control the maximum number of cores that Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously will use.
Open the text preference file and look in the ["MP"] section for:
i "MaxNumberOfProcesses" = "0"
"0" is the default setting, which means that all available CPU cores will be used. Calculate how much RAM you have available for After Effects (don't count the RAM used by your operating system.) If you have 8 cores and 8 GB of free RAM, change the setting to "4" so that 4 CPU cores will be used and so they will each receive 2 GB of RAM.
Save the preference file and restart After Effects.
You can find the preference file Adobe After Effects 8.0 Prefs.txt in the directory (on Windows):
i C:\Documents and Settings\XXXYOUR_LOGIN_NAMEXXX\Application Data\Adobe\After Effects\8.0
...or for OS X:
i Users/XXXYOUR_LOGIN_NAMEXXX/Library/Preferences/Adobe/After Effects/8.0/
- Jonas Hummelstrand
Hi! Is XP64 still the main road or is Vista64 a better choice?
XP x64 has little support from most drivers, wheras Vista x64 is directly supported by more and more 3rd parties and is also better able to handle 32-bit drivers than XP x64 can.
Keep in mind that After Effects CS4 is still a 32bit app on both Mac and Windows.